A change in Australia’s philosophy could be behind a decision to drop Mitchell Starc, Allan Border says.
A change in Australia’s philosophy could be behind a decision to drop Mitchell Starc, Allan Border says.

How Australia’s 18-year drought lead to Starc’s Ashes axing

A CHANGE in philosophy as Australia searches for a way to end a dismal Test run in England could be behind a decision to drop Mitchell Starc, Allan Border says.

National selectors are mulling drastic changes for the first Test as Australia looks to end an Ashes dry spell in England dating back to 2001.

Among the changes is the inclusion of James Pattinson, meaning at least one established quick is set to miss out. It is believed Starc will be the man tapped on the shoulder.


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Former Test captain Border also expects Starc to be axed - and he can see the logic behind the call.

Having lost four-consecutive Ashes series in England, Australia is looking to change its approach, forsaking ruthless aggression with the ball for a more patient system, Border believes.

Starc, as the side's most aggressive bowler, will reportedly make way to leave room for bowlers such as Hazlewood or Peter Siddle who are known for bowling a more consistent line and length that pays greater dividends in seaming English conditions.

"We're going to try and play a different brand of cricket to what we've played in the past - the Australian way hasn't really worked in England since 2001, because we go with this style of cricket and it hasn't been successful and there's a lot to be said for that," Border told foxsports.com.au.

"Someone like Starc can go through bursts with great pace and can get wickets quickly but can be very expensive when it's not working, so maybe there's a new thought process to go for Siddle or Hazlewood because of their accuracy.

"They can bowl that unerring line and length and play a bit of a waiting game and not force the issue a bit."

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Border conceded that his initial selection tips included all three members of Australia's fast bowling establishment; Starc, Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

But he said after listening to recent comments from members within the Australia camp he sensed a change of philosophy, which he can see the merit behind.

"When you start thinking of those scenarios (bowling patiently) you start to think there's some credit there, you don't just automatically throw Starc in because of one-day cricket, it's a very different ball game," he said.

"I get where they're (selectors) at ... they've obviously done a lot of analysis about where they've gone wrong in the past four away Ashes series and you start to think 'maybe they're on to something here'. Maybe it's not a fait accompli Starc plays."

Should Starc miss out and Australia wins the first match, Border said there will be a temptation to keep the new formula, but only if bowling workloads permit it.

"If that formula works in the first match they might be tempted to stick with it," Border said.

"It depends on the workloads ... you might have to chop and change the bowlers around a little bit as a result."

Since the 2001 Ashes series, aggressive quicks such as Starc and his predecessors Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee have struggled with the red ball in English conditions.

Starc has taken 29 Test wickets in England at 31.21 compared to Johnson's 35 at 33.57 and Lee's 20 at 41.10.

No one has taken more Test wickets for Australia in England since 2001 than Siddle (43 at 28.37).